It is claimed time and again that writing an essay is like building a house. The statement is rather clichéd, but that doesn’t nullify its truth. Both require a solid foundation to support additional components or ‘levels’, and each require something to reinforce or complete the structure. For a house, this finishing piece is a roof, and for an essay it is a conclusion. In order to ‘build’ that perfect essay, follow the structure below, making sure to ‘support’ your argument with textual evidence:
First, answer the question and then introduce your thesis statement. Remember, your thesis statement is your ‘big idea’ or ‘main argument’. After this, introduce the texts which you will use to support and elucidate your thesis. Provide a sentence or two that specifically explains their thematic or conceptual relevance to your thesis. Finish with a concluding sentence to links to your first body paragraph.
Always begin with a topic sentence which states what theme/concept/aspect of the text you will be discussing in the paragraph. After this, explain this theme/concept/aspect in further detail, drawing in contextual information if relevant to your argument. Then, introduce a textual example to support your argument and identify the techniques the composer uses to demonstrate their effect on meaning. Repeat as required. End with a concluding sentence that summarises your key point in the body paragraph. Follow this structure for however many body paragraphs you have.
Your conclusion should mirror your introduction by answering the question. You should also restate your thesis and in turn consider whether or not it holds up after your analyses of the texts. Finish your conclusion with a brief summary of the main concerns of your essay.
Revise, Revise, Revise!
After finishing your essay, remember to read over it a few times in order to correct grammatical inaccuracies and spelling errors. It’s important that you take time to revise your essay. See if you can find places where you can make your point more succinctly and where your argument is not properly supported by evidence from the text. Ultimately, revising your essay will help you to get extra marks, particularly if you are on the cusp of a band.
Hopefully, these tips will assist you in mastering the essay genre. If you’re still experiencing trouble with structuring your essays or need additional assistance with textual analysis, remember that you can always visit the Writing Centre at Chatswood and Strathfield. Our tutors have a wealth of experience among them and are more than happy to go over your essays with you. Good luck!
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Writing an essay can be a daunting task for both teachers and students in terms of creating and crafting a high quality essay, and finally editing and grading them.
It seems though we may have overlooked one of the toughest steps in writing an essay and that is actually selecting an appropriate and interesting topic for your students.
Thankfully I have put together a list of 25 great essay topics that might just make that process a little easier. Enjoy. And remember to add any other great suggestions in the comment section below.
If you are still struggling with the essay writing process and need further guidance be sure to check out our definitive guide to writing a great essay.
- Zoos are sometimes seen as necessary but not poor alternatives to a natural environment. Discuss some of the arguments for and/or against keeping animals in zoos.
- Imaginethat your teacher wants to teach a new subject for the next few weeks. Your teacher will take suggestions, and then let the students vote on the new subject. What subject should your class choose? Write an essay to support your choice and to persuade the other students to vote for your choice.
- Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
- Should teachers have to wear uniforms or have a dress code?
- Since the invention of nuclear weapons we have had a long period of GLOBAL peace and stability. Are nuclear weapons global peacemakers or killing devices?
- Should boys and girls be in separate classes?
- Is the death penalty effective?
- To what extent is the use of animals in scientific research acceptable?
- What age is appropriate for dating?
- Pretend you woke up one day and there were no rules. People could suddenly do whatever they wanted! Explain what the world would be like. Use your imagination!
- Should student’s textbooks be replaced by notebook computers?
- Should students be allowed to have cell phones in elementary and high schools?
- Should wealthy nations be required to share their wealth among poorer nations?
- Should money be spent on space exploration?
- Is fashion important?
- Are we too dependent on computers?
- Ifyou had the opportunity to bring any person — past or present, fictional or nonfictional — to a place that is special to you (your hometown or country, a favourite location, etc.), who would you bring and why? Tell us what you would share with that person
- Most high level jobs are done by men. Should the government encourage a certain percentage of these jobs to be reserved for women?
- Should students be allowed to grade their teachers?
- In your opinion what factors contribute to a good movie?
- The destruction of the world’s forests is inevitable as our need for land and food grows. Do you agree?
- Many parents give their children certain chores or tasks to do at home. Should children have to do chores or tasks at home? Be sure to explain why you think it is a good idea or a bad idea. Include examples to support your reasons.
- Should the voting age be lowered to thirteen?
- Should the government place a tax on junk food and fatty snacks?
- Should more be done to protect and preserve endangered animals?